Shonda Rhimes now has her very own Barbie and it’s amazing
Superstar writer and producer Shonda Rhimes created some of our favorite TV shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton — and she’s won virtually every relevant award for her work along the way. Now, thanks to a new project from Mattel, she also officially has her very own Barbie doll.
According to a study funded by the toy company Mattel, girls without a positive female influence aged 5 to 10 are less will likely raise their hands for leadership positions. This includes tasks like leading a group project at school or even volunteering to answer a question in class. However, after girls (and boys too) were exposed to female role models, all children were more likely to volunteer to lead a group activity.
So in 2018, Mattel created the Barbie Dream Gap Project, a multi-year global initiative to highlight female role models in society and immortalize them in doll form.
Now, for International Women’s Day this year, Mattel has released 12 model Barbies, including Rhimes.
It’s only fitting that Rhimes, a black screenwriter, CEO of Shondaland and the greatest showrunner of all time, should be honored with a Barbie doll that looks like her.
The doll itself features a likeness of Rhimes which is spot on. With a gorgeous full afro, a stunning figure that puts traditional Barbie to shame, and a colorful ensemble that includes a full-length rainbow skirt, the doll exudes some of the same strength and confidence as Shonda herself- same.
The 52-year-old entertainment industry history author was thrilled to be included in the collection.
“I have my own Barbie!” Proud to be among 12 amazing women, who are breaking all barriers in their respective careers, who have been selected to be honored for #internationalwomensday,” she wrote on Instagram.
Rhimes’ colleagues in the industry were also thrilled for her, with celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Ellen Pompeo and Kerry Washington all praising her.
“We know children are inspired by what they see around them, which is why it’s so important that young girls see themselves reflected in role models who have boldly broken through barriers and overcome the Dream Gap to become the brave women they are today,” Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and Mattel, said in a statement. “On this International Women’s Day, we are proud to honor 12 global trailblazing women to help empower the next generation of female leaders by sharing their stories.”
The other 11 role models may not have such high profile names in the United States as Rhimes, but they are 100% equally inspiring. These include women like fashion designer Lan Yu from China, activist Butet Manurung from Indonesia and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
We just have one big problem waiting for you: Model Barbies are not for sale, even in limited editions. Still, we’re happy to see a Barbie that doesn’t look like a…Barbie.
Here’s your daily reminder that representation matters to children of all ages, genders and ethnicities – and what they see around them and in their toys affects how they see themselves and others.